Lydia’s Graduation Weekend

This post is for those who have asked for pictures from Lydia’s graduation.  It will be mostly pictures, but I’ll tell you a little about what we did.  “We” means Ted, Beth, and Serena; Ben Allen and Emily; and Sarah, Rainey, and William. We all drove up together in 3 vehicles.  I had the 2 back seats out in my van so I could 1) bring 2 rented wheelchairs for Ted’s parents’ use, and 2) have room for all Lydia’s stuff to vacate her apartment and bring her back home. Continue reading “Lydia’s Graduation Weekend”

Konsidering Kudzu

Finally!  A post by me!  It’s not about politics.  It’s not about current events.  Well, I suppose you could say it’s about current events on a local level; a family level. 

This summer, for the first time in the 21 years we have lived in Shelby County, I’ve noticed kudzu growing in places along the roadside.  When Lydia was home, she lamented that it was all over the farm.  In one of my reflective moments, I asked myself, “Why would kudzu show up now, when it hasn’t been here in the last 21 years???  What has happened in the last year that would have spread kudzu up here?”  So what did I answer myself?  It came to me in a flash!  Hurricane Ike!  Last September, Hurricane Ike still looked like a hurricane as it passed over KY, downing many limbs and trees with 60 – 80 mph winds.  Ike blew up here straight from Kudzu Kountry!  Could Ike have kalamitously karried kudzu seeds which were, with the unusually high rainfall this year, koaxed to sprout krazily in our kounty?  I think it’s a great theory.

Now I’m praying for several winters with deep freezes to kill off that krazy kudzu before it becomes king of the road!

There went the Bride

Well, it’s over. Sarah got married! She is now Mrs. Hartman. It was a grand occasion, and everything went beautifully and smoothly. My impression, looking back the next week after we got home was, “Gee, that was only a blip on the radar screen! It seems as if it should have made a bigger impression. Maybe the Jewish folks, and others who celebrate for a week have the right idea after all!”

So many people asked me if I was stressed over wedding preparations. The answer is, no, Sarah and Rainey did most of the planning and preparation down there (in GA). I ordered her wedding gown, which fit perfectly so that I didn’t have to alter it. I had to find a mother-of-the-bride dress to match some jewelry I already possessed — a deal, but not a big deal. Hey, I got to shop, didn’t I? I went down 2 weeks before the wedding to take them 2 chest-of-drawers, alter Sarah’s reception dress, and help her with a little bit of shopping. I helped set up the church and arrange a few flowers and bows the day before the wedding. The most stressful part of the whole affair was fixing 3 people’s hair the morning of the wedding. And the best part was hearing Sarah say, after I finished her hair, “That’s perfect, Mom; it’s exactly what I wanted!”

I’ll put in a picture that I took of Sarah when she was all dressed and ready. Ted will fuss over the way I do it and go back and edit the post! If anyone is interested enough to want more pictures, go to this website: . The password is “thomas0816” There are over 400 pictures there, but only a fraction of those actually taken. It takes 15 or 20 minutes to view as a slide show.  To order pictures as prints, please contact Brenda Brooks at BB & Company.


Indian Winter and the Brontosaurus in our yard.

“Indian winter” is a term just coined by Lydia. It refers to the fact that, in all the 20 years we have lived here, this is the first time Ted on the BrontosaurusI have been cold in August. (Since Indian summer is when you have summer-like warm weather in the fall, then Indian winter is when you have cold weather in the summer, right?) Our weather all this week is incredible! Good incredible! While usually this time of year we are suffering under temps. in the 90’s with high humidity, our weather this week is topping at 85 or less, and getting down to the low 60’s at night. I just wish I could take it with me to Chattanooga for the weekend, where Sarah will be getting married. Her reception is outside, and the high that day is supposed to be 89. Oh, well, anything for a daughter getting married!

In other news, there has been a giant brontosaurus in our yard for the last few days. (I know, there was really no such thing as a brontosaurus. It’s more properly called an apatasaurus, but the b- word sounds better!) This brontosaurus was big, orange, metal, and weighed approximately 10 tons. It didn’t exactly eat tree branches, but it carried Ted and his chain saw on its long neck 60 feet in the air to trim the giant oak trees whose limbs were encroaching on the roof. The only catch to this mechanized brontosaurus was the short in its wiring that sometimes caused Ted to get stuck 60 feet off the ground! It took a little persuasion with a hammer to get it going again. Here’s Ted at his work.

We’re off day after tomorrow to attend Sarah’s wedding festivities. My next post will likely be pictures from the wedding!

Speaking in Tongues

Dear Friends and Family,

Sigh, every time I write to you I want to burst into the typing of exotic and foreign words that come so often from my mouth during the week. I just wish you all could understand them. You know, when God confused the languages at Babel, it was because the people were united against him in rebellion by one language. Now, in this present age, would God want all the world to speak one tongue? What would change if the whole world all spoke the same language? What would it be? Arabic? Chinese? English? (See I’ve planned it all out, either way I come out on the top since I’ll be able to speak all those languages :)>

But now, the language barrier is a barrier for the spreading of God’s word as well. Think of all the millions of hours and thousands of days spent by committed missionaries to translate God’s word into a different language so that those people can be saved. Communication is a funny thing, and that’s one reason I like it so much.

With communication in mind, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my last potluck at the IFI’s Friday night bible study. I met some new people (as always), and we had a wonderful bible study. After the bible study we broke up into our small discussion groups. My discussion group happens to be composed of Tom, the leader (American), me (American), and then four Chinese and one person from Singapore. We were discussing in Luke 9 where Christ asks Peter who Peter thought he was, and Peter says “The Christ of God.” And Jesus told him not to tell anyone. So we started discussing Continue reading “Speaking in Tongues”

Ahhh, Simple Pleasures are the Best

I just finished a week of directing Vacation Bible School for our church. This Bible Nature Camp had a bird theme this year, and I spent many hours searching stores for bird decorations and bird prizes, making bird decorations, and reworking the curriculum. I affectionately named it “Tweet Week”. Serena even took her parakeet with us each day to add to the interest and decor.

I learned a few things this week. The first one was that I’m not as young as I used to be. After being energetic and excited for the kids all morning, I had to come home and take a nap in the afternoon! The second revelation came from none other than Azeem, Serena’s parakeet. We were a little concerned that the traveling back and forth would upset him. Quite the contrary! He loved the motion of the van that made his hanging toy rock back and forth. Between that and the classical music I turned on, he chirped and tweeted happily all the way to Louisville and back every day. This bird is just so CUTE in his behavior. It made me smile to hear those chirps and tweets coming from the middle seat, knowing how much Azeem was enjoying himself. Everyone should carry around a parakeet in his car, for the joy, and to learn the meaning of the phrase, “Simple pleasures are the best.”

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The License Plate Game

O.K., you’ve all played it, right? On a long trip, you have your kids keep track of all the different state license plates you can find. I forgot to write about it related to our trip to VA, but Serena and I did this in June. On an 11- day trip, driving through only 4 states, we found 44 states — all but Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Of course, we did drive slowly through the whole parking area at Monticello, and we did the same each day we left a symposium at the conference hotel in Williamsburg. There were people there from all over the U.S.! It brought back memories of many other trips. Hey, Sarah and Lydia, we even found a North Dakota license. See? North Dakota DOES exist! (Inside family joke).